Official betting is a type of sports wager in which a bettor places money behind an outcome, and gets paid only if that outcome occurs. In other words, the bettor will only win if the team in question wins the game or covers the spread by a specified number of points. This type of wager is common in baseball, and often consists of multiple straight bets joined together by an if clause. The NFL has made significant investments in its integrity effort in recent years, dedicating additional resources to the space and partnering with betting industry experts to develop a technology platform that provides the league with more visibility of bets placed on its events.
Some states also require sportsbooks to use official data when grading Tier 2 wagers. However, that language is problematic in practice, as it requires the leagues to provide data on a commercially reasonable basis. Sources within the industry suggest that leagues are asking for a price tag of at least 0.25% of all wagers, a figure that would be impossible to justify on a competitive basis in a free market.
Despite these hurdles, legal sports betting is available in more than 20 states. Some states have more options than others, with Colorado allowing players to place bets in person and online, and Michigan offering online only. Meanwhile, New Hampshire and Tennessee allow in-person and mobile sportsbooks. In both cases, betting on in-state collegiate games is prohibited.